Nobuyuki Matoba, Ph.D.


B.S., Kyoto University, Kyoto Japan, 1996
Ph.D., Applied Life Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 2001
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Plant Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 2002

Curriculum Vitae

Current Positions:

Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Member, Care & Control Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Member, Center for Predictive Medicine
Associate Member, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Contact Information:

Clinical Translational Research Building, Room 615
University of Louisville
505 Hancock St.
Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Phone 502-852-8412
Fax 502-852-5468


Research Description:

The Matoba Lab is specialized in plant-made biopharmaceuticals research.  Our goal is to develop novel vaccines, immunotherapeutics, and antivirals based on protein engineering and plant biotechnology.  

Unlike conventional cell culture-based recombinant expression systems, whole plant-based protein production can be highly efficient and scalable by exploiting plant virus vectors, inexpensive natural resources and plant growth facilities (1).

Our research interests include: protein engineering; recombinant protein expression in plants; and pharmacological, toxicological and immunological characterizations of biopharmaceuticals.

Currently, we have two main projects.

1. High-mannose glycan-binding lectins and antibody-lectin fusion proteins.

Asparagine-linked high-mannose-type glycans constitute unique biomarkers found on the surfaces of various viruses (e.g., HIV, HCV, MERS-CoV, influenza, etc) and cancer cells.  To target these disease-associated glycans, we are utilizing naturally occurring sugar-binding proteins, or lectins, and their chimeras with human antibodies (2,3).

2. Enterotoxin-derived immuno-modulatory proteins.

Bacterial enterotoxins are known to elicit strong immuno-stimulatory effects.  These proteins may be exploited to enhance vaccine efficacy or to control deregulated immune activities of various autoimmune disorders (4-6).  We are currently developing an oral immunotherapeutic agent against inflammatory bowel diseases based on a plant-produced variant of cholera toxin B subunit (7,8).

Literature Cited:

  1. Matoba N, Davis KR, Palmer KE.  Recombinant protein expression in Nicotiana.  Methods in Molecular Biology 2011;701:199-219. PMID: 21181532.
  2. Matoba N, Husk AS, Barnett BW, Pickel MM, Arntzen CJ, Montefiori DC, Takahashi A, Tanno K, Omura S, Cao H, Mooney JP, Hanson CV, Tanaka H.  HIV-1 neutralization profile and plant-based recombinant expression of actinohivin, an Env glycan-specific lectin devoid of T-cell mitogenic activity.  PLoS One 2010 Jun 15;5(6):e11143. PMID: 20559567. PMCID: PMC2886112.
  3. Hamorsky KT, Grooms-Williams T, Husk AS, Bennett LJ, Palmer KE, Matoba N.  Efficient single tobamoviral vector-based bioproduction of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 monoclonal antibody VRC01 in Nicotiana plants and its utility in combination microbicides.  Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy 2013 May;57(5):2076-86. PMID: 23403432. PMCID: PMC3632893.
  4. Baldauf KJ, Royal JM, Hamorsky KT, Matoba N.  Cholera toxin B: One subunit with many pharmaceutical applications. Toxins 2015 Mar 20;7(3):974-96. PMID: 25802972. PMCID: PMC43795537.
  5. Matoba N.  N-Glycosylation of cholera toxin B subunit: serendipity for novel plant-made vaccines?  Frontiers in Plant Science 2015 Jan 23;6:1132. PMIC: 25614217. PMCID: PMC4303877.
  6. Royal JM, Matoba N.  Therapeutic potential of Cholera Toxin B Subunit for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the mucosa. Toxins 2017 Nov 23;9(12). pii: E379. PMID: 29168738. PMCID: PMC5744099.
  7. Hamorsky KT, Kouokam JC, Bennett LJ, Baldauf KJ, Kajiura H, Fujiyama K, Matoba N.  Rapid and scalable plant-based production of a cholera toxin B subunit variant to aid in mass vaccination against cholera outbreaks.  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2013;7(3):e2046. PMID: 23505583. PMCID: PMD3591335.
  8. Baldauf KJ, Royal JM, Kouokam JC, Haribabu B, Jala VR, Yaddanapudi K, Hamorsky KT, Dryden GW, Matoba N.  Oral administration of a recombinant cholera toxin B subunit promotes mucosal healing in the colon.  Mucosal Immunology 2017 Jul;10(4):887-900. PMID: 27805617.

PubMed Information